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Students moving, U-Haul reflect on reservation mishaps

By Jennifer Hoff, jhoff@wisctv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:11:13 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 15 2013 03:09:58 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. -

A moving company often plays a part in a student's yearly, off-campus housing move. So, when some UW-Madison students' online reservations with U-Haul unexpectedly changed, they reached out to News 3's Call for Action to investigate.

Some students said they didn't get the type of vehicle they requested or even the length of time they reserved it for. U-Haul told News 3 last week it was trying to accommodate everyone and asked people to be patient and understanding in return.

In our follow up investigation, News 3 wanted to see how everyone fared on the university's busiest moving day of the year.

"I'm moving out of this place and just one block over, but I still wanted a U-Haul," said grad student Melanie Traeger. Her old apartment lease ended Wednesday, Aug. 14, like most student houses. The new leases start the next day at noon.

Traeger planned ahead and made a reservation with U-Haul last week. She wanted a truck early enough to meet her landlord's move-out deadline and she complimented the moving company for working with her.

"I know how crazy it is down here during moving week, and particularly this day," said Traeger. "They were really nice and they told me, keep calling all day and if one comes in early you can pick it up and I called all day and I got one at 3:30 p.m. and that was really nice."

Meanwhile, third-year student Conrad Gudmundson has to return his U-Haul by Thursday at 9 a.m. His original reservation was at noon, but thought he got lucky when they said he could pick is up early. Trouble is, his 24-hour reservation remains and he has to return the truck three hours before he can move into his new house.

"We're probably going to try and put stuff on the front lawn of the next house," he explained. "I'm not really sure yet."

He won't rent another trailer for those extra hours. The self-professed "poor college kid" doesn't have an extra $40 to spare.

Most students agree moving day is an adventure for anyone who agrees to a year-long lease. The hassle lasts just a day. The other 364 days students can spend soaking in college life.

"There's no elevator in our new place and we live on the third floor, so that's kind of been rough," said Traeger.

The head of U-Haul in Western Wisconsin said things went as smoothly as it could and there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The area district vice president was also on-site for two days and said customers were willing to work with U-Haul and vice versa.

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